Minister for Health Simon Harris has said that he is treating concerns raised about the standard of recruitment in the health service very seriously.

It comes after a junior doctor was employed in a maternity hospital, despite lacking basic medical competency.

Yesterday, President of the High Court Mr Justice Peter Kelly ordered the suspension of the doctor at the request of the Medical Council, pending a fitness to practise inquiry.

In his judgment, Mr Justice Kelly said defective procedures for recruiting and interviewing doctors represented a danger to patients and he directed that his observation be communicated to the Minister and the Health Service Executive.

Speaking on RTÉ's Six One, Minister Harris said he has written to the HSE, seeking an urgent response to the judge's concerns.

However, he said it must be kept in perspective that there were almost 23,000 doctors registered in Ireland in 2017; there were around 350 complaints and only three doctors struck off.

Minister Harris said that he is satisfied that the Medical Council is a robust regulator, and said that this case proves the regulatory system here works.

Colleagues of the doctor in question made a complaint and within days the doctor was suspended, he added.

In a statement this evening, the Medical Council said it shared the concerns raised by Justice Kelly in relation to recruitment of junior doctors with the appropriate levels of experience and qualifications.

It said it has expressed its concerns to the HSE and medical recruitment companies in the past.

"The Medical Council has no role in the employment of doctors. If a doctor is on the Register it does not mean they are suitable for every role," the statement adds.

"It rests with employers to determine the suitability of a doctor to fulfil the requirements of a post, and to ensure that they are supported and appropriately supervised in their role."

Earlier, Tánaiste Simon Coveney gave the Dáil an "absolute assurance" that the Minister is taking concerns raised by the President of the High Court, very seriously.

Simon Coveney was responding to questions in the Dáil from Fianna Fáil's Dara Calleary, who asked for a guarantee "that there are no other rogue doctors working in our system".

The Tánaiste said: "Judge Peter Kelly is a very serious individual and when he makes a judgment like this the Government listens and acts on it."

He also said "the HSE is currently carrying out a detailed review of the recruitment processes with a view to introducing a revised model next year."